When we left the last chapter of this arc in FLASH #21, Barry and Bruce had found themselves thrown into the FLASHPOINT universe! What, didn’t that entire reality fade away at the end of FLASHPOINT? That’s what we thought, but something (or someone) has allowed a remnant of that world to continue part Thomas Wayne’s killing of Eobard Thawne. We see the results now – somehow the Aquaman and Wonder Woman of that reality ended their war with each other and are united in one goal – the death of their Batman! Their combined armies are on their way, and the only hope Barry and Bruce have of finding their way home is for Barry to recreate his Cosmic Treadmill while the two Batmen (Batmans? Batmi?) fight off the armies of Atlantis and Themyscira.
Just as Barry completes the Treadmill, whatever was holding FLASHPOINT in existence begins to “let go”. The world is dissolving around them, giving Batman just time enough to tell his “father” that he has a grandson. And we see why FLASHPOINT may have been allowed to exist for this long…
Thomas Wayne tells his son “DON’T BE BATMAN”.
You read that right!
Thomas tries to take away Batman’s reason for being, telling him not to do this for his father and mother, but to instead for Bruce to be a father to his own son.
Can you think of something more devastating for Bruce to hear from his dad, even if “dad” is from a different reality? Looks like someone wants our heroes at their weakest…or even off the battlefield entirely!
But, back to that Cosmic Treadmill – on their way back (to where?) they run into a time traveling Eobard Thawne…
Wait, didn’t he die in THE FLASH?
Yes, he did, but this is a time-looped Thawne before that death, and he’s still holding on to that button. Barry tries to talk him down, but Thawne now knows “who the power of the button belongs to”…an he’s ready to face that mysterious power personally!
SUMMARY: This may well be the best crossover story since REBIRTH gave us the return of the original Wally West. We get genuine surprises with the kind of twists that can only happen with a Scarlet Speedster tripping through time (or a different universe’s Doctor with a blue box…but that’s for a different story). I’m glad to see that the mysteries of REBIRTH have taken so long to unravel. Almost all of DC’s major change storylines from the first CRISIS on have been rushed and caused problems of their own, including FLASHPOINT/New52, and taking their time to build up to this story of “The Button” has allowed for a lot more thought, and (so far) an excellent storyline. Joshua Williamson and Tom King (both creating the story, with Williamson writing the script for this issue) are making their case for multiple awards. Kudos also go to the excellent artwork of Jason Fabok (with colors by Brad Anderson). This arc combines several eras and variations of characters, and the artwork has been spot-on throughout This is a 10/10 once again for me – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!